Friday, February 27, 2009

As Promised The Second Carnaval Parade

There are always two Parades. The beginning of Carnaval has the Night Light Parade. Then on the last day of Carnaval is the day parade. The street is just as packed and getting picture of anything other then the backs of peoples heads is almost impossible. So this year we had a plan. We went with another couple (the ones who have the condo that the firework pictures were taken at) so we decided we would walk the floats while they were being staged. Then when the parade started instead of going down the street where the parade would end we stayed up where it started. It worked perfect. All the crowd was down waiting at the other end so we could stand right on the curb to see them go by. The only thing we missed by doing it this way was being covered in confetti or having candy thrown at us. :)

Okay just a little cultural note about beauty contest here. There are beauty queens for every organization, company, store, and school starting with preschool! So by the time you get up to "The Carnaval Queen" contest many girls have been competing for most of their lives. It will cost the family of each queen around $300,00 pesos each princess $200,00 pesos ($20-30,000 US). The average monthly income is about $250-$300 (US) for blue collar workers. Families will sacrifice, take out loans at 45-50% interest rates, what ever it takes. The contestants are expected to raise that money so they go table to table, door to door, stand at intersections, have car washes, bake sales what ever they can think of to find the money. If they can't raise it all they don't earn enough votes.

And why is this done ? Because it will insure that the girl will marry well. Even though Mexico is a Matriarchal society, the woman's place is in the home taking care of her family. You do not win a husband by going to college, being intellectual, independent,or having a career. The beautiful women find husbands. Girls are taught this from toddlerhood. Thus the beauty queen obsession.

Back to Carnaval. Every float will have a queen, some will have a king also. The only float with no queen or Princess is the Carnaval King's float.

SO off we go on a tour of the parade. Oh and yes this is like Mardi Gras Some say it's the third largest in the world. I'm not going to get sucked into that mess. I only know that there were 800,000 this year and this wasn't considered a huge year!! The last day is on fat Tuesday and then Lent starts. The difference is Mexico is all about Family. Carnaval is a celebration for the whole family. The wild partying and drinking is in a fenced off area of the street and is at night. Kids are not allowed in.

This is my favorite float. The Giraffe makes me laugh, But the little monkeys are way beyond adorable!! They are all around 3 years old ;)

This is the King and his court. The king and little princess are chosen by the amount of money they were able to raise not by votes.

These are past queens some where Carnaval queens in the early 50s!! Once a queen always a queen and for most of these women this was the pinnacle of their lives.

This is not the Carnaval Queen but she is a queen of.....

This isn't her either

These are queens from other Mexican and Latin American cities, also Haiti and Cuba. Remember Mexico has no embargo with Cuba

Yep this is the 2009 Mazatlan Carnaval queen. LW says he apologies just as he snapped the picture a breeze (ocean is only 30 ft away) blew her veil across her face :(

I think I fit quite nicely into that description :) Have an audacious day or evening my Bloglandian friends depending on what part of the world you are in ;)


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

what FAB photos - and that is one heckuva parade, no question!

loved the king's float with the centaurs - and the gigunda swan pulling! I haven't figured out if the swan is walking on land to pull that coach, or dragging it into the water! LOL Terrific!

Thanks for sharing this - I didn't even know about this parade!

xashee's corner said...

thank you so very much for sharing such a LOVELY parade! :)
have a GREAT weekend!

Grandma B said...

The floats are BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks for the comments on the backgound for the carnival. Your blog information was wonderful. My husband and I may just have to make reservations for next year to be in Matzalan for the beginning of Lent. I will find out is my daughter has a time-share there. This is something that would facinate me....especially since it is the beginning of the Lenten season. When we were in Mexico on our cruise, I was impressed with how gentle the people were and are. We have many Mexican families here in our town, and they have the same gentleness. In fact, our little church is overflowing with Mexican families.

Thanks for the pics and info. Have a super week.....

Grandma B said...

PS. Stole the picture of One Heart One World 2009 for my blog. What a wonderful outlook into life. And wouldn't things be good if that is the way everyone thought. Thanks much

faerie enchantment said...

I wish I was at that parade, looks wonderful and that mermaid themed float is my favorite!
Magic and Joy!

Sabii Wabii said...

I'm really amazed at the quality of the floats, especially since you said what the median income is.
Thr girls truely are beautiful. It's interesting what a difference there is in cultural beliefs.
So do you have "King" cakes down there like they do in Louisiana? I just had a piece last night at a friends house and heard all about the background of them. I had never heard of them before...(Ca girl!)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin